I live two completely different lives. In one, I am a stay-at-home dad, doing dishes and laundry, taking the kids to school, changing diapers and making dinner. In the other, I am a young opera singer spending my time at rehearsals and the rest of my time reading, going out with friends, and eating a lot of different restaurants. Hmmmm, on paper one of them seems more appealing, but believe me, it's really not.
It's very strange to have two lives, and stranger still is the relative ease with which I can now slip between them. Yes, the transitions are always hard, but now that I am in New York again I am back into my "New York" patterns. There are one or two places that I usually stay, I know where the places I like to eat and shop are, and I know how long it takes me to walk from the apartment to Lincoln Center for a rehearsal. I have regular voice lessons, I have lunch with my agent, I see old friends, and I spend a lot of time by myself.
Just a few days ago I lived in Vermont. I spent the days with my children and the evenings with my wife. I had a fairly regular routine established, and I was almost never alone. How strange then, that I can live in an almost opposite way and have it feel completely normal. I wonder if this is what it is like for those guys you always used to hear about that had two or three families scattered all over the country. Is it so easy to just step in and out of different lives?
As an opera singer, that is sort of my job. To step in and out of different lives, different characters, and different scenes. Most opera singers in this country have to travel a lot. Every show is a different city, a different group of people to work with, and a different life. I guess we are all doing constant research for our profession. It is hard though, to always be somewhere else, and to always be someone else. Because aren't we all just a little bit different, depending on the group of people we are with? What if that group was never the same?
So far in my career, I haven't worked in so many places that I can't tell them apart. I have mostly worked in Vermont, New York, DC/Baltimore, and Florida. And I have my routines and my lives in all of those places. And how strange to think that I could just walk in the door after years of being away and restart an old life. But I can. And I do. So here I am, in my other life, if only for a few more weeks. And when it's over I will go back to my "real life." Or is this my real life? Or are they both my real life? Being an opera singer is hard.